tv 9 News Now at 11pm CBS July 3, 2012 11:00pm-11:35pm EDT
. this is 9news now. >> i just need to know about the number of line people that the company employs now as compared to 15 years ago. >> i don't know that number. i am focused on restoring service to 95,000 customers. >> well, the power is coming back to many of you watching us tonight. but pepco or is pepco doing everything it can to get the juice flowing? we'll get to that in a moment.
first, though, the latest power outage numbers. pepco is reporting about 12,000 outages in dc. 68,000 in mopt county and 111 -- montgomery county and 11,000 in prince george's. bge reporting 53,000 in montgomery county and 10,500 in prince george's county. dominion virginia power is reporting 47,000 people without power in northern virginia and smeco is reporting 1900 outages in prince george's county. in a press release issued by pepco earlier today, the utility says it's mobilized some 3,000 people to help get the lights back on. 1830 are field restoration crews. 7 hub power line personnel from out of state, 450 tree trimming personnel, 400 overheadline contractors, 122 internal line crew members. and 160 internal underground and sub station personnel. now, in that release, only 15% of those 1830 are identified as
actual pepco employees. well, last night on 9 news, i spoke with the ibew union leader about a shortage of pepco linesman. >> you tell me that pepco once had twice as many linesmen as it once had. what happened to them? >> they retired. pepco didn't replace them. there were also some targeted servants programs in the early 2 thousands. they wanted to reduce the number of employees they had. and we're basically down to half of what we had about 15 years ago. >> and then today on 9 news at 6:00, i pressed the pepco president thomas graham about that same issue. couldn't you have been on this faster if you had more line man actually working for pepco? >> actually we just hired 59 linemen. we have another 14 coming in. over the last -- >> you only have 100 some odd working for you. before you had 200 some. >> if i could finish my answer. >> sure, sure. >> actually over the last two years, we've been working on a reliability plan where we
brought in several hundred contractors mixed in with the employees that are working on reliability projects. >> well, we weren't completely satisfied with that answer, so we asked our gary nurenberg to follow up on the question of whether or not pepco has half as many line workers now as it did 15 years ago. so, gary, how do those numbers add up? >> well, what we learn is mr. graham is not going to give us an answer. we asked him after he left his talk with you in the studio. >> you know, i was just in a conversation with derek and he spoke to the union rep saying we had half as many linesmen as 15 years ago. if that agency is true, is that a -- allegation is true, you have half as many linesmen as you had 15 years ago. >> i don't know the exact number and we're in the midst of negotiation right now. what i do know is we have hired several hundred contractors and union employees to support some of the efforts and we just hired
another 59 line mechanics with 14 on the way. >> reporter: so that brings you to a total of how many? >> again, i don't know. at this point in time, i'm focused on the restoration. so there is 95,000 customers out of service. >> reporter: well, again, let me go back to the issue. i know you can't give me an exact number or you say you can't, but the allegation is you have roughly half as many lines people as 15 years ago. understandably you don't know the correct number, but approximately is that correct. >>. >> i don't know that. i'm focused on the restoration of service. i don't mean to talk about the union negotiations, sir. i just mean do you know about the number of line people that the company employs now compared to 15 years ago. >> i don't know that number. i am focused on restoring service to 95,000 customers. and that's all i think about right now. >> reporter: as the president of the company, you don't know if you have half as many linesmen now as you did 15 years ago. >> again, i'm focused on the restoration. i don't have the numbers at my
fingertips. >> reporter: but you can't tell me approximately. >> approximately i cannot. it's union employees and also a work force contract. >> reporter: pepco does have more lines than it did 15 years ago. more customers than 15 years ago paying higher rates than 15 years ago. does it have half as many line workers as it did then as the union alleges. you just saw our efforts to find out. mr. graham was anxious to stick around with other questions. the company's all out focus is restoring critical care facilities. what are the facilities and why aren't they fixed yet? >> there are so many of those facilities and they're all over the service territory. we started with 4300 customers out of service. we're down to about 9500. there are 123 facilities that remain without service of about 400 total. they have all been assigned crews, so they're all scheduled to restore service today or tomorrow. but it's all a function of how
much damage that's occurred on their lines. >> reporter: what are the most noteable of those facilities? >> you know, i don't know them by name. but certainly they're spread out throughout the service territory. >> reporter: after a meeting of the principals george's county lejs -- prince george's county legislature. graham said he saw no rate increase in the immediate future. >> within months you did say something about a rate increase. >> reporter: i guess the question on the part of your customers, how can you justify a request for a rate increase when there is so many people without power. >> we've invested millions of dollars to improve reliability for our customers. the investment we make in the regulatory pack, there is a recovery mechanism for those investments. and it's critical for us to continue to make those investments that we do get appropriate rate recovery. >> reporter: in the statement from the company today, you're quoted as saying i want to thank
our customers for their patience during these trying conditions when you say you understand the inconvenience of not having power for a long period of time, do you really? have you sat in a house with no power in the children in this humidity and this heat for days on end? you say you understand it. but do you feel it at your core as your customers do? >> i feel it as the core because i was born and raised here and my friends and family and neighbors are here. if they're suffering, i'm suffering too. i hear from them every single day, and i know what they're going too. so, yes, i do have a full appreciation for what's taking place right now. >> how many more questions do you have? >> reporter: just a couple more minutes. >> it's your call. >> we're done. >> we're done. let's go. >> reporter: thank you. >> reporter: most household standards he makes a lot of money, but he has an impossibly
tough job and is not responsible for all of pepco's policy decisions. he's worked this storm hard, been out on the streets. 10 hours sleep in the next day and was kind enough to come in on a busy day to take the questions it's our job to ask. we think it's his job to answer them and believe it is our job to follow up when we don't think he has answered them. we hope you learned some things from that interview, and, again, we thank mr. graham for coming in. >> we thank you, gary. new at 11:00, a female utility worker is killed in a traffic accident. it was part of a three-vehicle crash near blue mont, virginia. and according to the loudoun county sheriff's department, the other people involved in the accident are expected to be okay. no word on what utility that woman was working for at the time. we have much more on the aftermath of the epic storm on wusa9.com. and a metro train lost power in prince george's county earlier tonight, and that forced
dozens of angry passengers to walk the track back to the platform. matt jablow joins us now with their story. >> reporter: derek, imagine taking the metro home after a long day at work only to have to make a fairly daring escape to get off the train and then walk down the track to safety. that's how passengers on board a green line train described described their usually routine commute home. >> the train was moving along. >> reporter: it was a pretty typical ride until suddenly it wasn't typical at all. >> i don't know what metro is saying, but this is ridiculous. >> reporter: it was right around 6:00 tonight when a metro train with about 100 passengers on board came to a stop between a prince george's plaza and college park station. >> it was crazy. >> reporter: for reasons that have not yet been determined, the train lost power. and passengers say they were forced to wait on the sweltering train for about a half-hour as metro employees tried to figure out if the tracks still had
power going through them. >> they kept coming. the tracks were dead. and the police kept coming out. >> reporter: finally, according to passengern a scene best described as chaotic, they got off the train. >> we had to jump off the train because there was no one there to assist us at that time. >> reporter: and walked about a half mile to the college park station platform where eventually most of them continued their travels on buses provided by metro. >> this is real inconvenience for me. >> reporter: a little worse for the wear and a lot angrier. >> one of the people on the train was a blind lady. and she had to walk the tracks with her cane and all. she's around here somewhere covered in dirt and filth. >> reporter: luckily evacuating the train did not result in any serious injuries. derek. >> matt jablow, thank you. well, they can stay for now. they have backed off of their plan to kick families out of a
mobile home park ravaged from storms last year. but it has heightened attention for everyone involved. our ken molestina is live in woodbridge with the details. ken. >> reporter: well, you know, derek, earlier today the residents who were out here, the few that remain were bracing themselves getting ready to be evicted. to get yanked out of their home against their will. it was last year that severe storms and flooding devastated this whole mobile home park. and the mobile home park was left uninhabitable. something that the residents that remain here tonight refuse. >> you need to step back. >> reporter: they're deeming the trailer homes left here are unsafe. they advised residents of the dangers and issued them to get out. >> i feel bad. i feel bad because the county come and say, okay, you have to leave. >> reporter: this low income immigrant caught a break.
the county decided to back off and stay at least for now. >> they have to look. the weather is bad right now for the people. why they don't leave us alone. >> reporter: ray jackson has taken issue with the makeshift electrical systems and he seemed a little bothered by our question about it. >> he looked around. have you seen drop cords going across? >> reporter: yes. >> do you think it's a safe environment. >> it is not. >> reporter: following the storm's that hit their neighborhood, they were left without power and it was never restored. so the few families that remain here have been using generators and extension cords to share electricity. >> they shared the disconnect with the power. >> reporter: the issue is still working its way through the courts. no final decision has been made according to their lawyer and he wants any action to evict his clients in the near future to stop. >> we intend to be in court on thursday to see if we can have a -- obtain a restraining order. >> reporter: for the time being, the 8 families are vowing
to stay put despite the county's wishes. they claim their homes are fine and until a judge makes a decision they want county officials to stay away. >> if they say we have to leave, we respect that. we'll leave. but right now they don't have nothing. >> reporter: county officials say the reason they backed off of the original plan is because they wanted to give every resident out here enough time to heed their warning and to get out. so they're backing off for now, but that doesn't mean they're going to revisit the plan -- that they may not revisit the plan in the near future. we're going to keep a close eye on this and we'll let you know what happens. ken molestina, 9news now. well, still ahead, bethesda pulls the first over-the-counter kit to test for hiv. also, we'll remember the late andy griffith with some things you may not have known. stick around. and i'm topper shutt. 98 today was the high. we had some big thunderstorms roll through. we'll show you the wakeup weather.
here is the deal. temperatures in the 70s to start. 74-82 by 7:00. and 82-86 by 9:00. you have to keep hydrated tomorrow. we'll come back and tell you if the storms will hit during the fireworks display and we also ask you to name that storm last friday on facebook. we have some pretty funny answers. stay tuneded.
in tonight's health alert, a new weapon in the battle against the spread of hiv. the food and drug administration has approved the first over-the-counter kit to test for the virus. the test detects the presence of hiv in your saliva by using a cotton swab. however, it is not 100% accurate. the home test only correctly detected hiv in those carrying the virus 92% of the time. however, the test was 99% accurate in ruling out hiv in patients that did not carry the virus. the dulles airport extension voted to support phase two of the silver line. phase two extends the silver line to dulles and a pair of stops in loudoun county. with today's vote, the county
commits about 270 million bucks towards the construction. andy griffith had big ears, a big smile and a big career to go with him, and fans have been remembering the actor all day long ever since they heard about his passing at his home in north carolina. griffith was 86 years old. here are a few things you may not have known about the man. he never won an emmy for his tv work, but he did win a grammy for a gospel album. his first appearance on national television, the ed sullivan show in 1954. and he always referred to his former co-star ron howard as ronnie until the day he died. and, yep, he remained lifelong buddies with another former co star don knots. >> just make sure it clears your underwear. >> very funny stuff that show. that scene, of course, from the series that made the actor a household name. the andy griffith show. the power companies has let
us down. that seems to be the general sentiment from a lot of us that are frustrated because it's taken so long to get the lights back on. but tonight i would argue some of our political leadership is not doing so much better. how many times have we been through this before? friday is just not good enough. well, that was dc mayor vince gray outrage that pepco is not fixing our power faster. the same for montgomery county's executive iek leggett that said of the friday deadline i will not accept it. really? because frankly i'm not quite sure what that means. would you have accepted july 5th, for example. however, it all sounds nice and angry, though, which i'm sure is really the point. politicians making sure everybody knows they're just as bad about this as any regular joe. the problem is, how mad should we regular joes and janes be? i mean, do we really know how much better pepco ought to be doing under these circumstances. look, pepco's reliability has been on the decline for years
now. this is truly a catastrophe. and if my power was still out, it came back on saturday, i would be plenty frustrated. still, shouldn't we expect our leaders to be the grown ups in the room. pressuring the power company. sure. but urging the rest of us to stay calm since getting all hot and bothered will not bring the power back on any faster. to my mind, all that energy would be much better spent exploring exactly what went wrong this time. slap pepco with another fine if we have to. and then batting down the hatches for the next one. because, let's be real, when something like this is coming our way, another round of table pounding outrage won't help anybody. top. >> all right. well, do you know what we did, derek, we asked our fans on facebook to name this storm. and here is some of the suggestions and they are pretty darn funny. ly yoe says el pepco. mckie says -- leo says el pepco. mickey says metro derecho.
ann says swag which means with swing with a gust. those are all pretty good. go to our facebook now and you can name it. we like the names. live look outside. the live weather cam. and it is brought to you by -- is this really live because there is fireworks going off, i think. [ laughing ] >> it is live. that's pretty cool. okay. that's what we call timing, everyone. timing is everything. brought to you by michael and son. 77 right now. dew point 69. so the air has become much more humid. here is our next area of concern to the north of us in pennsylvania. some of the storms could get into the metro area even by late morning. stornlz possible during -- storms possible during the fireworks. no doubt about that. some could be heavy. some could be severe. we're looking at hot conditions at least through saturday. maybe a break by sundays. and then some record highs are possible, especially at dulles because their record highs are a
little lower. so overnight we're looking at partly cloudy skies, warm. showers ending south and east. low temperatures in the 70s. by morning, partly cloudy and hot. again, a late thunderstorm possible. 75 to about 94 for temperatures. and then by afternoon on the 4th, partly cloudy, very hot. storms possible. highs 94-98. some of them could be heavy. some of them could be severe. now, our codes go like this. yellow, yellow and yellow. 100 thursday. 99 on friday. each day with a possibility of a storm and big time heat. next seven days, 100 on saturday. and then look, oh, a break. low 90s on sunday. upper 80s on monday and tuesday. still with some storms but temps on the way down. kristen will be here shortly with nats highlights. stay tuned.
now 9 sports with kristen berset, the best sports in town. >> after a 10-day road trip, the nationals back in town for their stars and stripes series. the fireworks you saw during topper's broadcast were at the conclusion of tonight's game. a much anticipated game. both having stellar pitching rotations this season. but tonight the nats bats were
better. nationals hosting san francisco giants. didn't take long for the nats to get on the board. jordan zimmerman, the pitcher, with a double to deep right. danny espinoza scores to make it 2-0 nats. that was zimmerman's only hit of the night, but it was a good one. here is one of your all stars ian desmond proving why tonight desmond a bomb well over the left field wall to add two more runs. desmond's two hits, two rbis, two runs tonight. 5-0 natsz. bases load -- nats. bases loaded in the 4th. one up the middle. nats keep tacking on the runs. it's now 7-0 in the 4th inning. they had an hour and a half rain delay. the nats eventually wrapped this one up 9-3 the final. tonight, though, was all about the fans. the first 10, look at them running, they got a chance to meet their favorite players. as soon as the gates opened, they took off. it was part of the first ever
ignite your nattitude tweak up. besides baseball, there were give a ways, trivia and a scavenger hunt. >> i got here around 1:30. there were like three other people in front of me. >> actually i got my whole family. those are my kids still in line. we were faster with them. >> it was a lot of fun. it was worth it. i recommend it to anyone for next year. go nats. >> they were out there since 11:00 a.m. this morning. bryce harper one step closer to becoming an all star. he was named to the national league team replacing an injured matt kemp. that means there is just four guys left vying for the final spot on the roster. harper was in third. the nats used tonight to ignite the attitude to help bolster the standings. the rookie has been campaigning on his behalf as well. >> he's been out there every day grinding for us.
he's impacted the game. whether it's offensively or defensively. but, i mean, this guy -- this guy deserves to go to the all star game. so whatever we have to do to push him to get him there, i think we have to go the extra mile. >> and let's go across the pond. serena williams still very much alive. she was dealing with nagging pain in her leg. she was able to play through it today and win in two sets. she'll advance to the semifinals. she'll play on thursday. serena's serve unbelievable. it got up to 109 miles per hour today. she was on point with her serve today. >> so her leg was hurting but not her arm. >> not her arm. her arm was fine. >> we'll be right back.
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